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Piracy Your Rights Online

Music Industry Sues Irish Government For Piracy 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the going-for-the-gold dept.
bs0d3 writes "The music industry has initiated a lawsuit against the Irish government for not having blocking laws on the books; on the theory that if blocking laws were in place then filesharing would go away. On Tuesday the music industry issued a plenary summons against the Irish government which is the first step towards making this litigation possible. This all began in October 2010 (EMI v. UPC), when an Irish judge ruled that Irish law did not permit an order to be made against an ISP requiring blocking of websites. Recently several ISPs across the European Union have been ordered by courts to block thepiratebay.org through legal maneuvers."
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Music Industry Sues Irish Government For Piracy

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  • Re:immunity? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Axalon (919693) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @01:38AM (#38671062)
    I was actually going to post something about that, but I looked it up and apparently Ireland doesn't have sovereign immunity [wikipedia.org].
  • Accelerando (Score:4, Informative)

    by mr_snarf (807002) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @02:10AM (#38671168)
    The more I read about all this stuff going on, the more and more I think of Accelerando by Charles Stross. The description in the news of these companies makes them sound like organisms trying to compete in an artificial world, with less and less connection to reality. Soon their actions will be run by programs, and will eventually become sentient :P (Book is available free online if interested, see http://www.jus.uio.no/sisu/accelerando.charles_stross/ [jus.uio.no])
  • Causal Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @02:53AM (#38671280) Journal

    The crux of the case will lie in proving that there is a causal link between the lack of laws requiring ISPs to block websites, and the damages claimed. The precedent is Francovich v. Italy. However, given that the judge in a ruling against British Telecom forcing them to use Cleanfeed [wikipedia.org] to block access to websites like Newzbin and TPB acknowledge that tools to circumvent the system were available. And, in fact, Newzbin has released a client allowing access to their website despite the Cleanfeed block. The same software allows access to TPB. It relies on both encryption and the TOR network. Newzbin told BBC news that 93.5% of UK users have downloaded their Cleanfeed circumvention software. This flies in the face of the judge's comment that "Even assuming that they all have the ability to acquire [the means to circumvent Cleanfeed], it does not follow that they will all wish to expend the time and effort required."

    93.5% of UK Newzbin users may not be "all" people in the UK who want to use file sharing networks, but it certainly means that establishing the causal link between lack of ISP blocking remedies and damages from file sharing will be difficult. People want access to those files, and Cleanfeed has proven largely ineffective at stopping two of the main sites involved in sharing. It should also be noted that these sites are not the actual hosters of the allegedly damaging files; they are merely portals to peer-to-peer networks that have other access methods available (e.g. DHT on BitTorrent). Again, the claim that blocking these websites would prevent financial damage is rather dubious.

  • Re:immunity? (Score:4, Informative)

    by khallow (566160) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @03:11AM (#38671364)
    Well, Ireland is part of the EU and voluntarily subordinated its laws to those of the EU. So this sounds like a proper jurisdiction to me. If this court doesn't agree, then the suers have pretext to take up the case at the EU court level.
  • by lordholm (649770) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @04:28AM (#38671590) Homepage

    I thought so to, but it turns out (if you read the article) that the suit is about that Ireland has not implemented certain items in Union legislation. Thus, a court proceeding for Ireland is entirely appropriate, especially since Union law have precedence. The court is then asked to look at whether Irish law is compliant with Union law, so the court cannot force the state to make new laws, they can however force the state to follow Union law.

    For the non-european who have no idea about how it works (this is a simplified version): EU legislation can be seen as federal law, but most of the legislation (known as directives), are actually laws about that the states should make laws fulfilling a certain set of requirements. If a state does not implement "federal" directives in local legislation within the directive's implementation period, those individuals and companies that suffer some kind of damage that they would not have suffered if the law was implemented, have the right to sue the state for non compliance. This is a normal procedure; try to solve it locally at first, the next step is to take it up with the Union so they can start infringement procedures against the state. Normally, the courts would in this case ask for union level courts for an opinion of the compatibility between state and union law.

  • Re:Hey, IRA: (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2012 @05:04AM (#38671728)

    Wanna bet!
    When I was there in the 80s, they usually only informed the government AFTER the attack so they could take credit for it.
    Most of the attacks were on civilian targets. Malls, Town Squares, even a small town that was shelled with mortars for a couple of hours.
    Checked with my family in the US, they couldn't get any news about even one of the attacks, even though it was all over the UK news.

    I was even in a London shopping district right where they set off a car bomb about 20 minutes before it detonated. Fortunately it went early and didn't get anyone. (But not so early it got me.)

    The IRA are just (or were, not sure what they are now) a terrorist organization trying to convince others they were freedom fighters. Freedom fighters attack government and military, not innocent civilians, that's what terrorists do. By the way, at least 80% of their targets when I was in the UK were random civilians.

    So F-U !

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @05:16AM (#38671782)
    You got it wrong anyway, the expression is "the carpet matched the curtains" or a close variant of that. You can argue about the definition of drapes, but the established home decor metaphor for pubic hair is certainly carpet. For example, lesbians are often referred to as 'carpet munchers.' Neither meaning of drapes makes for a good comparison.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2012 @05:24AM (#38671806)

    There is such a movement! It's called the Pirate Party [wikipedia.org]. Currently smallish, but global and growing rapidly. Why not join?

  • Re:Get in line... (Score:3, Informative)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @05:51AM (#38671916) Journal

    Fuck Bono, he's probably behind this shit. He was whining about pirates taking "his" money since several years now.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Informative)

    by JosKarith (757063) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @06:30AM (#38672046)
    It's fair to say that the tobacco companies probably feel under continuous assault nowadays so are going to fight any legislation aimed their way. Even seemingly harmless things turn out to be the thin end of a painful wedge.
    I'm not saying that tobacco companies are innocent but it's interesting how _everybody_ feels qualified to take a swipe at them and regularly does. In the UK we often have headlines about how smokers cost the NHS huge sums - some guesstimates range as high as £5 billion. That's a huge amount of money and a serious drain on central coffers.
    Except for the fact that smokers paid (roughly) £10.5 billion in tax in the UK last year. That means for every pound they used up, they put in 2. If the government decides to not put that money into the NHS (and paying for that bill is one of the reasons they use to explain their putting up tobacco taxes every year) then it's not the smokers' fault.
    And no, I'm not a smoker, I'm an ex-smoker. I just hate lies and lazy statistics.
  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2012 @07:02AM (#38672148)

    So you would support a ban on alcohol?
    It's a poison sold for ingestion of the general public.

    I actually would.. however, biggest difference is maybe that alcohol users don't generally force others to suffer from the poison as well. Compare to smokers who are poisoning non-smokers all the time. I can't walk thru any street in the downtown without someone poisoning themselves and me at the same time.. I, however, can walk generally without anyone trying to push alcohol down my throat. Your mileage may be different but I would expect it to be pretty close to my experience.

    p.s. if it's about becoming nanny-state that such poisons are being put out of sight.. what about the general law against killing? I mean why aren't you free to do so too ? (yes: poisoning others is killing them btw, even if death may take many tens of years to manifest)

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @08:34AM (#38672470)
    The thing about that number is that someone did an analysis of it and called it bogus because smokers on average die at a younger age and, even when you take into account the things they die from (that are often caused by smoking). this results in them costing the government less than those who live healthy lifestyles.
  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @09:25AM (#38672760)
    Except there was a Dutch study done a few years back that showed smokers cost the health care system less [nytimes.com] money over their lifetime than non-smokers. There were several other studies that also back this up. As far as I know, there has been nothing to show otherwise since. Basically smokers get cancer and die earlier than non-smokers. Non-smoking "healthy" people tend to live much longer and get more exotic diseases which cost more to treat.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @10:06AM (#38673116)
    Eh tax ex pats didn't start with Bono, it goes back to The Stones and the Beatles? not sure on that one...

    Anyway, we mod Bono and U2 up because of what they then DID with that money. Instead of turning it into blow and snorting it up their noses like your average CEO, they actually used it to do GOOD in this world.

    Not in Ireland myself, but if I were I also might know about some good U2 has done for causes in that country also.

    Some people think U2 is sanctimonious, I get that, but I just have to give people credit for the good acts they actually engage in and U2 has a long list of those indeed.

    If people were as generous, as capable of thinking long term, as concerned with the general welfare of the world as U2 was, we wouldn't need taxes or very many laws for that matter.

    Men aren't angels, thus, government.

    But I never see the point of going after those men who approximate angels to the best of any of our abilities.

    My 2 cents.

  • Re:Right to Sue? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Epimer (1337967) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @11:43AM (#38673970)
    They're not being sued because a law doesn't exist. They're being sued because they allegedly haven't implemented an EU-wide law which they are (allegedly) obliged to; such implementations are a condition of membership of the EU. If you, as a citizen of an EU member state, have suffered harm from your nation's government not implementing an EU law which it has been obliged to, then yes, you can sue your own government. It's called a Francovich claim and is the basis of individual citizens ensuring that their own government can't shirk on their responsibilities to implement EU laws.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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